We needed to hire a new programmer for a couple of projects. I thought it would be interesting to share the process we used
First, rather than advertising the opening, we went to a couple of our senior programmers and asked them if they knew anyone they could recommend. The reasoning for this was our senior employees know what is expected of a new programmer, they know our culture and they think if they make a recommendation that doesn’t work out, it would reflect poorly on them. The intention here is to try to start with people of the right character.
One of our programmers recommended someone he has known for 12 years. We reviewed his resume and it showed that this person should have the requisite skill set.
We then interviewed this candidate and the main emphasis was asking him about some of his previous projects and asking him both how he did things but also why he did them that particular way. The objective was to understand his thought process.
Since the interview went well we then asked for some examples of his previous codes. This is easier to do with programmers than with many other professions but the idea was to see if he could actually apply what he was talking about
Since the code he provided was very clean, we offered him a temporary position on the first, smaller project. He understands that if things go well on this first project, he will be offered a full time position to work on this second project.
Will this new programmer work out? I’m not sure but my feeling is he will. If he doesn’t work out, will I still think we used the best process? Absolutely.
It’s a lot easier to follow this type of a process at a small company but if we can get everyone beyond simply looking at an application and resume, we might improve our employee pool.
Have a great day!